Jeremy Olander: I have a lot left to accomplish

Vivrant's third release of 2022 brings the return of label founder Jeremy Olander and his first original release since July of last year. 'Murphy', his new single for the summer of 2022, has wreaked havoc at the Swede's sold out spring and summer shows at prominent clubs and festivals including The Bow in Buenos Aires, Sound in Los Angeles, Cercle Festival in Paris and Watergate in Berlin.

'Murphy' is a trademark Olander record. An emotionally charged sonic journey characterized by a melancholic yet uplifting and infectious lead melody, contrasted against a thumping drum pattern and almost sinister FX detailing, 'Murphy' makes for a surefire weapon at clubs and festivals alike in the summer of 2022. We caught up with the man himself to find out more.
Hello Jeremy, and thanks for taking the time to chat to us. How has 2022 been for you so far? Any highlights?
— Thanks for having me! 2022 has been great to me.

I came into the year after a taking some time off from the studio to spend time with my kids. I started producing when was in high school and I turn 35 in October, and haven't really taken any extended time off. Creatively, after making a lot of music during the Covid lockdown, I felt a little drained. So yeah, I hung out with the kids, my girlfriend and played some shows here and there. Tried to have bit of a normal life.

When I got back into the swing of things after that voluntary break and the forced break due to the pandemic, I felt re-energised both spiritually and creatively. I feel very grateful to be able to do what I do and I'm glad I've re-discovered that perspective. When you're in thick of things and just move full speed ahead all the time, you can get a little lost sometimes. I think we're all guilty of that.
Where in the world are you right now?
— I'm back home in Stockholm. I just got back from France after playing Family Piknik in Montpellier. This weekend I'm closing the electronic stage at Way Out West in Gothenburg and then I'm off to Berlin to play the graveyard shift at Watergate. It's my first time playing the main floor so can't wait for that.
Massive congratulations on your huge new single 'Murphy'. Can you talk to us through the release?
— Thanks a lot! I always make whatever I feel is missing in my sets. 9 out of 10 tracks in any given set will be my own and more often than not they're unreleased. Whenever something connects, like I feel this one has, I tend to want to release it. I sit on so much unreleased music and it's always a tough decision to decide if I keep a track for my sets, or if I should put it out. With this one, the first time I played it I felt like it had something, and I also wanted to put out a big, melodic track for the summer so it was an easy decision.
This is your first new record in over a year. Was there a reason for the 'hiatus', if we can call it that?
— That wasn't really the plan to begin with to be honest. I had quite a bit of music lined up coming into the summer, but some unexpected things happen with the labels and after a while, those tracks didn't feel like they made sense to release during this season, so I just held off. When I made 'Murphy', it made even more sense to wait a little longer and just go full steam ahead.
Going back to your formative years, can you explain when and how you fell in love with electronic music? Was there a particular moment when the penny dropped?
— Dance music didn't really do it for me at first. I had only heard stuff that was on the radio, which in my early teens, and that stuff wasn't very good. I was pretty much all about hip hop growing up and mostly listened to Biggie, NAS, Mobb Deep and Big L.

A few years before the whole EDM thing started happening, some of my friends were getting into the scene and they played me Joachim Garraud's podcasts. The music had so much emotion wrapped into each track and I had never really felt the way I felt at that moment listening to any music.

Then in high school, some of my older friends took me to Grodan Cocktail Club in Stockholm, which was kind of the main spot for house and techno. Small basement in the city center that booked hometown heroes like Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell, Eric Prydz. I also saw Richie Hawtin and Felix Da Housecat there.

It was a special spot. Seeing all these guys that would later go on to sell out Madison Square Garden and other huge venues after starting out playing a small sweaty basement for 100 people was inspiring to me.
What music (or artists) have played the biggest role in shaping you as an artist?
— If I can only say one, then it's Michael Jackson. In my world, nothing can and probably never will compare to the stuff he made with Quincy Jones. All of it is just perfection to my ears. In dance music, Eric Prydz. I truly think he's one of the best producers of his generation regardless of genre.
How would you describe your sound, and why did you choose to pursue your particular brand electronic music over other styles? What is it about the genre that you love so much?
— It can be dark or happy, big or deep, but it's always melodic and has a certain sense of melancholy to it.
How's everything going with Vivrant? We see you've just announced a big show in London for October?
— Really well, thank you. We've released debut projects from MOLØ and OLING, which are two up-and-coming acts we're very excited about. They both have their own unique styles but fall very nicely into the pocket of the music we want to represent.

We had our biggest showcase to date in December of last year at a 2200 capacity venue called Fållan in Stockholm. It was more than twice the size of any room we've done in the past, and coming out of the pandemic there was obviously so many events for people to choose from, and I was a nervous wreck in the weeks leading up to it before we sold out.

This year we're doing our first UK showcase at Village Underground as well as shows in Cairo, Beirut and Stockholm. The community around the label is so nice.

Music-wise, we're doing the second release of our VA series Commune, a couple remix packs, new projects from MOLØ and OLING and some surprises I'll save for later.
Looking forwards, do you have any specific goals or objectives you would like to achieve with the label?
— The goal is to create a home for other artists that I admire, big or small, and help them like Eric once helped me on Pryda Friends. MOLØ and OLING, that I mentioned before, are two of our up-and-coming acts and they're both developing at a crazy pace. We learn from each other.In the long term, we definitely want to branch out and release other kinds of electronic styles, or even completely different genres.
And as an artist?
— I have a lot left to accomplish. I've done music as a job for over a decade and I still feel like I'm just getting started.

One obvious thing though is probably to make an album.
If you could put on your own show anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would you have joined you on the lineup?
— Oh, that's a good question. I love my hometown, and nothing really compares to doing shows there. Last time in December we had people from 12 countries there plus all our friends and family. There are a few spots in the city where no dance event has ever been put on, and we're actually working on locking down both of them, so I don't want to jinx it.
Where can we see you perform over the coming months? Any big tours planned?
— I have a Vivrant India Tour with MOLØ coming up, an Australia tour with John Digweed and a big New York show at Kings Hall in Brooklyn and a bunch more that's yet to be announced. Really pumped for the Village Underground show too. Been wanting to play that venue for a long time.
Finally, do you have any other projects coming up soon that you'd like to share with us?
— I have an EP coming on a German label I really like that I can't name just yet, and probably another one on Vivrant. Both will hopefully drop before the year ends.
Thank you Jeremy, we wish you all the best!
— Thank you! Had a good time. Take care.